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Photo illustration: Kevin C. Cox, Michael Reaves, Mike Ehrmann, Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

The Masters is back just five months after its previous iteration, this time with limited fans.

By the numbers: The field comprises 88 golfers, including six first-timers and 18 past winners.

Here are the five favorites, via DraftKings (pictured above):

  • Dustin Johnson (+950)
  • Bryson DeChambeau (+1050)
  • Justin Thomas (+1050)
  • Jordan Spieth (+1200)
  • Jon Rahm (+1200)

Storylines:

  • Johnson set a Masters record (-20) last year. With a win this weekend, he'd become just the fourth repeat champion (Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods).
  • Spieth is coming off his first win in nearly four years and has one of the best Masters track records of anyone in the field. Gotta love him.
  • Rory McIlroy hasn't won a major since 2014, but a Masters win would make him the sixth golfer with a career Grand Slam (Nicklaus, Woods, Gary Player, Ben Hogan, Gene Sarazen).
  • Brooks Koepka is less than a month removed from surgery to repair a dislocated kneecap. Most believed that would require at least a six-month recovery, but he tees off this afternoon.

November's fall foliage and cool, damp weather gave Augusta a brand-new feel. But now that spring has bloomed, the course is back to looking like itself.

Why it matters: Hidden in that beauty is a daunting reality for golfers: After a uniquely dry month, Augusta is expected to play tougher than it has in over a decade.

  • Johnson's record 20-under par in November was aided by slow greens, a byproduct of October seeing more than double its average rainfall.
  • But last month, nearby Atlanta saw 30% less rain than average, meaning the whole course should be lightning fast.

The state of play: All that rain in the fall neutralized Augusta's best defense: its firm, undulating greens. But now they're back — and perhaps deadlier than ever.

  • "You can't hit that shot in April," Paul Casey said of an approach he hit in November right at the flag stick. "That shot in April would have one-hopped over into the patrons."
  • "This week's going to be a huge premium on accuracy, on landing your golf ball on your numbers and being precise with your iron play," said McIlroy.
  • "If it stays dry, it'll be as difficult as the course has played in a long, long time, and that's what I think we need to have," added 61-year-old Fred Couples.

📚 Go deeper: This Masters is about a champion who is missing and what is ever-so-slowly returning (ESPN)

Go deeper

Latino community of 13-year-old killed by police in Chicago reels after shooting

A small memorial of flowers and candles to Adam Toledo in Chicago. Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images

Residents of Little Village, a well-known and predominantly Latino neighborhood in Chicago, are grieving the death of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Mexican American boy from the neighborhood who was shot and killed by a police officer on March 29, NBC News reports.

Why it matters: Adam Toledo's killing shines a spotlight on police shootings of Latinos, who are killed by law enforcement at the second-highest rate after Black Americans, according to data from the Washington Post.

Super typhoon Surigae explodes to Cat. 5 intensity

Super Typhoon Surigae seen on satellite imagery Saturday morning east of the Philippines. (CIRA/RAMMB)

Super Typhoon Surigae surged in intensity from a Category 1 storm on Friday to a beastly Category 5 monster on Saturday, with maximum sustained winds estimated at 190 mph with higher gusts.

Why it matters: This storm — known as Typhoon Bising in the Philippines — is just the latest of many tropical cyclones to undergo a process known as rapid intensification, a feat that studies show is becoming more common due to climate change. It weakened slightly, to the equivalent of a strong Category 4 storm, on Sunday.

4 hours ago - World

Biden adviser warns "there will be consequences" for Russia if Navalny dies

The Biden administration warned the Russian government "that there will be consequences" if jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny dies, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN on Sunday.

The big picture: Sullivan also defended President Biden for not mentioning Navalny in a Thursday speech about Russia or in a Tuesday call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying the White House aims to deal with the issue "privately and through diplomatic channels."